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tv   [untitled]    August 16, 2010 10:00am-10:30am PST

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was allowed with video alliance, which i think is a representative group of many local and small media producers. why did it take so long? explain a little bit more of your numbers to counter what she said. >> $170,000 a year is our operating budget. that grant comes from the department of technology just for operating expenses. because of the statewide franchise agreement, which partly requires that capital and operating are separate from the franchise fees of $2.10 million total to the city of san francisco from comcast are split between p&g. those can only be used for capital expenses. we request but would like to spend those capital funds on. when she refers to a potential of $695,000 a year for capital, that only can be used for hardware, rent, physical objects
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like servers and equipment to equip the station. that is part of what we want to spend on some of these other sites as well. $170,000 has to cover everything operational, which is all the staff time, utilities, supplies, percentages of other time billed as actual expenses -- tech support -- our utilities -- everything it takes to operate the station, provide training, and all of that. should i answer the second point as well? i am still not certain what tracy's reasoning was for not continuing her programming with us. she was definitely invited to do so. i have done advocacy with her at the state and national level. i do not understand where she is coming at bay back with not only antagonism but a series of
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unclear or factually incorrect information she is trying to disseminate to the community. i think barry in the department of technology can back up our numbers. my report is the actual facts and numbers. supervisor mar: thank you for the information. i know mr. arcada addressed the sunshine taskforce ruling in favor of people that you are not being transparent and accessible. >> it is coming from nick pascarello, who spoke earlier. he sent several letters via fax demanding we communicate with him via certified post to his post office box. he claimed we stand his id, which we never did. when we took over the station, we inherited seven filing cabinets that were completely
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full of photocopies of people's drivers' licenses, dating back to the early 1990's. the previous operator required everyone, every time the submitted a show, to prove their sentences go residents by photocopying their ideas. we shredded all of those documents. we still require people provide a proof of residence to receive these services. but mr. paxcarello is not even a member of bay back. his id is not in our database. we do not have anything from him except his post office box and his name. when he went to the sunshine taskforce, he was submitting a complaint that he did not receive documents he had requested from us. the sunshine board told him he is supposed to request those departments -- those documents to the department of technology. he failed to do so and went to
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the sunshine board with a subsequent complaints about the same issue. it is stuff we have to deal with, and pay a lawyer to deal with. chairperson campos: anything else? >> and no, unless there is another question. chairperson campos: is there another member of the public? i have a card from mr. dixon. you can go as well, sir. you can go ahead. >> my name is gilbert francis. i have recently become affiliated with bay back. over three months, in that course of time, i have been amazed at what goes on in making films. i have always been to movies, but i have never even thought about making one. these people are very, as far as
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i am concerned, hard working. it did not cost even the minimum amount it would have cost to do this on my own. the staff has been wonderful, and i am not just putting people on the back. i have learned quite a bit about the industry. we have a cub in the san francisco fillmore district which is called the san francisco domino club. supervisor mirkarimi has come to our domino tournament. anyway, we were able to broadcast that event on channel 29. it was very successful. a lot of people saw it and were enthusiastic about it. we want to do it again on labor day. i am really appreciative of the
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time and effort that has been taken by these people at bay back. thank you for your time. chairperson campos: thank you, sir. mr. dixon? >> i am a student of mr. johnson's media class. i wanted to say it has been a wonderful experience so far. they have taught us about how to work the camera and things like that. we are people who do not get this type of experience every day, you know what i am saying? the interview on channel 7 -- it has been a great experience so far. i just hope it continues. chairperson campos: is there any other member of the public who would like to speak? please come forward. >> i am one of the producers the
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access station. some of the member said that it is very important to keep the community access going. however, my question is what is the blueprint for the bay back when they apply for the contract? they are quite aware that the operational budget was $175,000. however, that capsule of money was not limited within what the city would pay, the capital expenses needed. it is about $1 million to build a station on market street. it was probably a location which
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was not anybody coming. the city would pay for it. that is where i want to know the dismantled station -- it did not cost anything for them to continue to operate it. however, the dismantled and moved all the equipment to their own building. they get $5,000 of grant money from the city every month. they are at their own space. it took almost one year, and the main studio is not open yet. the flat studio is open. most of the equipment there was moved from the old studio. i thought it was almost ready to operate. now, i am informed by other members who attended the mass meeting. they said that because of the lack of money they cannot
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operate. but in that blueprint, they dismantled all the studio, that beautiful studio, and moved to this building. given the $5,000 extra to keep the space for community access, or shared with bay back, i do not know how they are using the community access studio. it still is not operating because they do not have enough money to hire somebody else. what was the plan to move the studio over there if we cannot use it? that was my question. the complaint about money, but that money they use to continue to operate the studio could be paid by the city outside of the
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budget. chairperson campos: is there any other member of the public would like to speak? simenon, public comment is closed. before we go into closed session, supervisor m irkarimi. supervisor mirkarimi: i want to refresh people's memories as to why this item is before us. it was approximately two years ago where public access, the public portion, in particular among the grouping of peg funding was slated to become an endangered species. that was quite frankly because our ability to negotiate the franchise agreement in san francisco was completely hijacked by state law, known as
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divca, and the federal law as well. the digital and video content act inhibited our ability to broker the kind of generation of revenue we have been used to for so many years before. when that happened, we scrambled fast to make sure that programmatic funding would still be in fused so that we would not see any loss of public access here in san francisco. in that endeavor, we learned quite a bit about the current operation, as we had come to know in its and pieces on the studio. what a costly endeavor that happened to be based on old budgets. we also heard that department of technology was essentially wanting to modify public access
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to the point where i was extremely concerned, as many of you, colleagues, as both of you were coming into elected office, that the city was pulling out in its support. public access barely gets any general funding. they do not get the level of funding one would think from the general fund. the distinction that needs to be made clear is what is required for capital intensity or capital funding versus what is programmatic. as frustrating as it is that we are in essence capital well in doubt -- wecapitally well endow, there has not been much dramatically for these services. what we did a year and a half
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ago is ask comcast, who agreed to provide a one time infusion so we could keep that programmatic funding, moving forward. the agreement before us for consideration is to receive that from comcast. i do not believe that is something that is held indefinitely and that will always be there, whether we decide to do it last year or this year. i do not think we should take this for granted. it is important to note that what they have gone through in the transition -- this is not just on bay back's shoulders. this is on the city and the department of technology. in many ways, the city has removed itself from the driver's seat of making sure that public access is preserved, made safe, and is able to evolve in a way we would like.
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san francisco was once a pioneer and a leader in public access. i think it has since fallen off that horse considerably. i do not like the wave we have seen over the last few years of trying to deflect this on to bay back or its predecessor. i think the city is moving in a direction of trying to stifle public access because it is not committing the funding they need to do so. the fact that we were able to get this money from comcast for programmatic purposes does not answer the long-term question of how public access is going to survive. what we are trying to settle is an old question of money we were able to extract that has already been spent. when i hear commentary from people saying they are well in doubt, at spending $1 million in budget because they have this capital funding, it is not
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telling the whole story. i think there has been a disproportionate placement on the fact that the dollars for capital are still not being able to serve us well program radically. there is nothing we can do about it, although we have tried. again, we were coopted by both state and federal authorities. ultimately, whatever question is answered here today about releasing this particular dollars, i would definitely suggest to advocates who really want to see public access thrive is the city needs to be held accountable. the city needs to be held accountable in putting up to its general fund or other avenues a commitment towards public funding of the evolution of public access. until that happens, there is going to continue to be this
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squabbling over the limited dollars made available. this is a one time infusion. what happens beyond this one time does not answer the long- term question. i agree with a lot of the advocates who have expressed a concern and distress, but i do not think that the stress should only be aimed at bay back. the department of technology needs to be standing next to them on this, as well as the rest of the city, making sure it is umpiring the proper transition of public access to bay back's studios, as well as making sure that public access, as it applies to this population, for those advocates in the general population -- they are able to continue with their interests. i agree technology has evolved to the point where we should make good use of our cultural center.
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we could satellite public access to rte. san francisco. that is a smart endeavor. i think it would be shortsighted not to seriously look at that. in terms of bay back making sure it is sensitive and it is heightened to our sunshine laws, that is a very minimal aspect that we should always make sure we can insist upon of an organization that receives in part city funding. i would be more than happy to ask the department of technology if they want to step up and speak to this. but at this critical juncture right now, much of this is not just in bay back's hands. i think it is in the department of technology's hands about what the service intends to do. [applause] >> machairperson campos: madam y
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attorney, some guidance as to what can be said, as this is a closed session item? >> deputy city attorney cheryl atoms. the real question before the committee is whether to accept the offer comcast has made for an amount of cash. the fact that the offer is out there and you are considering that supplement -- that is public. to the extent you want to talk about the legal reasons of why to do that, we can do that in closed session. i do not see any issue with speaking with the department now if that is your pleasure. chairperson campos: that is fine. we can hear from the department of technology. thank you. >> thank you. barry frazier with the department of technology. i am an analyst. thank you, supervisors.
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i do not have a formal presentation. i would be happy to answer any questions you have specifically about the administration of the bay back grant agreement, or the background in choosing them as the operator for the funding mechanism that we employ. supervisor mirkarimi: thank you. we had to exhaustive hearings on this over two years, leading up to a year and a half ago. it also bothers me greatly that even before bay back was chosen that there was so much investment in marketing goph. why that decision was made to dismantle that, after considerable investment -- it was seen as ground zero and a place that people came -- became familiar with. it served its community for a lot of people.
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the decision was to shift facilities and equipment over to bay back. to many, it seemed that was squandering investment. please refresh people why that happened. >> you probably recall a lot of the story. it goes back to your description of the change in funding available to operate public access. we went from a situation where the prior operator was receiving $900,000 a year for operations. that allowed them to hire a staff of between nine and 12 folks on a yearly basis. we were also providing them with between three and $500,000 a year in capital funds to buy cameras and equipment, that kind of things. when divca was enacted, we realized almost all of that
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operational funding was going away. the capital funding, fortunately, was still available, and actually is increasing. but the operational funding has gone away. it is true that the studio itself was funded in part by the capital. we are not talking about operational funds to keep the studio open. we are talking about a staff of nine people to keep it in operation. we did not have the funding to keep those people in place to operate the studio. in addition, we had a bad lease on a particular property, a very high lease. it had a 10% automatic increase with a five-year agreement. it increased 10% over five years. in my opinion and in the department's opinion, it was difficult to justify keeping that facility, given the fact
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that we had very little operational funding to keep the doors open. that is why we embarked on an rfi to try to come up with a different model and a different way of providing public access that focused on the capital funding and minimize the operational expenses. supervisor mirkarimi: thank you. colleagues, what has happened is -- is the neutron bomb, in effect. that has nothing to do with anything we have done municipally. we have been divorced from the control influence we used to have. it was a hail mary pass two years ago to get some funding. comcast was agreeable to it. it was to on a short term put it on life-support and go from a $900,000 budget, where we were
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flushed in assets, to practically one-quarter of that for programmatic funding. that is what is before us, was that continued infusion. the fact that capital funding remains -- buildings can be made pretty, but with no programing for people to help serve the community, there go the neutron bomb effect. this gets us through the past year, based on expenses accrued, and maybe the upcoming year. this question is still not settled in the future, which i will ask that we return to, as to how the city should be held obligated to make sure public access is made to thrive. if we do not do this, we lose our position, a nationally speaking, in being a forward thinking city. today, this is closing the books on a passed agreement we have not yet quite released. i think that is something we
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should seriously consider doing. chairperson campos: thank you, supervisor. can we have a motion to go into closed session? a motion by supervisor mar. having taken public comment, we will go into closed session without objection. thank you for your comments. we need to ask members of the public to step chairperson campos: were we on when that was reported? >> emotion regarding closure. -- a motion regarding disclosure. chairperson campos: we have a motion not to disclose. >> we were not on. chairperson campos: can we go back and redo it? >> we met in closed session to discuss pending claims in
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litigation involving the city. the city will move items 8 through 14 through with recommendation. chairperson campos: that is correct. if we can have a motion not to disclose? a motion by supervisor mar. we take that without objection. do we have any other business before the committee? >> there are no further items. chairperson campos: thank you. the meeting is adjourned.
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there are so many ways that the internet provides real access to real people and resources and that's what we're try to go accomplish. >> i was interested in technology like video production. it's interesting, you get to create your own work and it reflects what you feel about saying things so it gives perspective on issues. >> we work really hard to develop very in depth content, but if they don't have a venue, they do not have a way to show us, then this work is only staying here inside and nobody knows the brilliance and the amazing work that the students are doing. >> the term has changed over time from a very basic who has a computer and who doesn't have a computer to now who has access to the internet, especially high speed internet, as well as the skills and the
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knowledge to use those tools effectively. . >> the city is charged with coming up with digital inclusion. the department of telecommunications put together a 15 member san francisco tech connect task force. we want the digital inclusion program to make sure we address the needs of underserved vulnerable communities, not communities that are already very tech savvy. we are here to provide a, b and c to the seniors. a stands for access. b stands for basic skills and c stands for content. and unless we have all three, the monolingual chinese seniors are never going to be able to use the computer or the internet. >> a lot of the barrier is knowledge. people don't know that these computers are available to them, plus they don't know what is useful. >> there are so many businesses in the bay area that are
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constantly retiring their computer equipment that's perfectly good for home use. computers and internet access are helping everybody in the community and people who don't have it can come to us to help with that. one of the biggest problems we see isn't whether people can get computers through programs like ours, but whether they can understand why they need a computer. really the biggest issue we are facing today is helping people understand the value of having a computer. >> immediately they would say can i afford a computer? i don't speak any english. how do i use it. then they will start to learn how to do email or how to go back to chinese newspaper to read all the chinese newspaper. >> a lot of the barrier still is around lack of knowledge or confusion or intimidation and not having people in their peer network who use computers in their lives. >> the important thing i learned from caminos was to improve myself personally.
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when i first came to caminos, i didn't know anything about computers. the second thing is i have become -- i have made some great achievements as an individual in my family and in things of the world. >> it's a real issue of self-empowerment where new immigrant families are able to communicate with their families at home, able to receive news and information in their own home language, really become more and more connected with the world as well as connected even inside their local communities. >> if we value the diversity of our city and we value our diverse neighborhoods in the city, we need to ensure that they remain economically viable. equiping them and equiping residents in those areas with jobs that will enable them to stay in san francisco is critical to that. >> the important thing that i see here at caminos is it helps thw

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